HC Deb 30 January 1929 vol 224 cc918-9

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been called to a statement by Mr. Kellogg in Washington on 24th January that another attempt would be made before 4th March to hasten the negotiations for the conclusion of a new arbitration treaty with Great Britain, and that a draft treaty had been forwarded to London 13 months ago, but the British Government had not yet signified either its aproval or rejection; and whether all the replies are now to hand from the several Dominion Governments on this subject?


I have seen the report of the statement attributed to Mr. Kellogg. We have not yet received the answer of one of the Dominion Governments to the inquiry which we addressed to all of them last March, and the considered replies of two others were only received during the last few weeks. In this connection it should be remembered that the attention of all our Governments was for a considerable part of last year concentrated on the negotiations for the Treaty for the Renunciation of War, which it was necessary to bring to a successful conclusion before taking up more closely the Arbitration Treaty. His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom are now engaged in a careful examination and comparison of the observations of the Dominion Governments as well as of the material which they have themselves collected. They attach the highest importance to obtaining complete agreement among all His Majesty's Governments, and further exchanges of opinion will be necessary before they can send a definite reply. I may add that this Treaty is of particular importance, as it will presumably form the model for many others.


Is it not the fact that the Kellogg Pact outlaws war altogether; and, in view of the fact that the Foreign Secretary, on Monday of this week, said that we had signed that Treaty without any reservations whatever, will he, in preparing this draft, take the same view, that it should be all-inclusive?


I cannot tell the hon. Gentleman what kind of Arbitration Treaty we should desire to see until the examination and communication of which I have already spoken arc complete, but I will try to make myself, by my conduct, as consistent as I can.


Colonel Woodcock.

Mr. SMITH rose


The hon. Member has received a very full answer.

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